Yanks drop opener to Jays on Molina walk-off hit

Game 149: Home Stretch
No fearing the Texas two-step

The Yankees are back from the west coast, but perhaps the offense and CC Sabathia‘s command decided to stay behind and enjoy the nice weather for a few extra days. Let’s recap…

  • How many more six-inning, 120-pitch outings are the Yankees going to let CC Sabathia throw before they cut the crap with this six-man rotation? This was basically the fourth start in a row he’s done that. Don’t get me wrong, I was in favor of the six-man rotation … back in August. We’re in mid-September now, well beyond its expiration date. Sabathia gave up another ten hits (fifth time he’s done that in his last ten starts) and walked another four batters (second start in a row), and once again the story of his game was his command, or lack thereof. His velocity is more than fine and he’s still piling up the strikeouts (eight), but he’s throwing way too much pitches. They need to get him back on normal rest, like right now. There’s not much schedule left, they can’t let this go on any longer.
  • After Sabathia exited, the bullpen usage was textbook. Rafael Soriano struck out the side in the seventh, David Robertson wiggled out of a jam in the eighth, and a reliever not named Mariano Rivera gave up the walk-off hit in the ninth. Tie game on the road, gotta save that closer for the save spot, you know. Cory Wade served up the walk-off hit for a second game in a row, but not before Boone Logan failed to get out the lefty he was brought in to face (double by Adam Lind). Logan’s been quite good at that this year, giving up extra base hits to lefties. At least Jose Molina got the game-winning hit, not some other Blue Jay jerk. I can’t hate on Molina, he’s a championship Yankee.
  • The offense was basically Robinson Cano, Nick Swisher and Eric Chavez. Swisher doubled in Cano in the first and then singled him home in the seventh. Chavez clubbed a two-run homer to dead center in the fourth. The Yankees had just five hits after picking up just four (in twelve innings) in the last game. Cano, Swisher, and Chavez combined to go 5-for-12 while everyone else in the lineup went 0-for-19 with two walks (Curtis Granderson and Brett Gardner). That’s it. It looked like the offense was getting back to being itself during the first two games in Seattle, but I guess not.
  • The Red Sox beat the Rays, so the lead in the division dropped to 3.5 games (four in the loss column) while the lead in the wildcard remained at 7.5 games. The magic number to clinch a playoff spot dropped to just six. Here’s the box score, here’s the FanGraphs stats, and here’s the standings.

The second game of this three-game set will be played Saturday afternoon at 1:07pmET, when Bartolo Colon takes on the rookie Henderson Alvarez.

Game 149: Home Stretch
No fearing the Texas two-step
  • nedro

    Well, that sucked.

  • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

    Speaking of Jose Molina and championships; Didn’t he win one with the Angels in 2002?

  • I Collect Brett Gardner Cards

    Joe said CC will be pitching on his normal rest from now on.

    • Tyrion Lannister

      Does Joe know when the ALDS starts? These guys are clueless.

    • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

      I’ll believe it when I see it. How many times has he previously said that this was the “last turn through the 6 man rotation”

      • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

        Also putting him on 4 days rest the rest of the way would have him start game one of ALDS on 5 days rest. They should start him on game one of the DH, and sept 28 against the Red Sox. Of course that makes too much sense for Girardi to do it…

        • Jetrer

          4 days rest would line him up for one game of the DH on the 21st, then the 26th vs. Tampa, then game 2 of the ALDS
          They really clusterfucked his schedule down the stretch

          • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

            Yeah I messed that up. They could also have him throw like a 5 inning/75 pitch start on Tuesday on 3 days rest so he starts Sunday against Boston line him up for game 1.

            • Jetrer

              I’m guessing the 120 pitches he threw today rules him out for making his next start on short rest

              • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

                he threw 113 pitches in both game ones of the ALCS and WS in 09, and they still started him on short rest. obviously not the same situation, but a comparison nonetheless.

            • forensic

              They won’t have him do a short rest/start the day before a double header. It might force Girardi to actually use someone else from the bullpen.

              I’d bet he’ll pitch in the DH, and then maybe the short start on Sunday.

        • Magg G

          Game 1 of the ALDS is Sept 30th.
          At this point there’s no possible way to have Sabathia go on normal rest and have him start game 1 of the ALDS. The only way to do that is to skip his last start which would give him 8 days of rest. Someone screwed this one badly.

          • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

            I’d blame Girardi, but I know we’re not allowed to do that around here…..

            • Jetrer

              I think it would be pretty unanimous here that Girardi really screwed the pooch on this one

            • JMK

              Truer words have never been spoken. I mean, look at all the support Girardi is receiving here from his decision! Just look! You, oh wise one, have this place dead to rights with your precision analysis.

              Spare us all your whargarbl.

            • pat

              Doesn’t everybody blame Girardi for everything around here? Or have I been on a different website all these years?

              • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

                I’ve been criticized and mocked for doing so a number of times in the past.

            • forensic


              Sorry, just wanted to see what it felt like. A little dirty, I think I need a shower now…

      • MikeD

        We’re down to to thirteen games and each one of the six men are scheduled to take their next turn. The six-man rotation goes away with the end of the regular season.

        • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

          They’re gonna have to get rid of it before then to line CC up.

          • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

            Maybe Girardi has a secret plan to not start CC in game 1 and start someone else!


  • MikeD

    Why is the assumption the six-man rotation is the cause of his control issues?

    • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

      What else could it be then?

    • ItsATarp

      YES had showed stats during this starts that showed that CC historically preformed better on normal/shorter rest than extra rest. He’s just a pitcher that thrives on extra work. It’s no surprise that he was at his best when Milwaukee was sending him out every 4 days on short rest just to make the play offs.

    • radnom

      Narrative born out of frustration.

  • stuart a

    IS this the going forward Texiera or is this a long blip??

    THe #’s seem to indicate this is a multi year slide. Can’t Tex and Long analyze the results and make adjustments????

    245 hitter hitting 3rd, 220 or so from the left side!!!!!!


    • your mom

      Jesus, Tex is absolutely fucking horrible at the plate right now. He better get his offensive shit together soon.

    • FIPster Doofus

      Pre-2010 Teixeira is sorely missed.

    • forensic

      Don’t look for Long to do it. He’s already said there’s nothing wrong with him. He doesn’t want to mess with someone who can hit a few homeruns, everything else be damned.

  • pat

    I miss having a dotf to blunt the force of a shitty loss like this.

  • Zach

    six man rotation is one of the reasons we’re in this mess. The other one is the fact our offense can’t hit, period.

    • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

      Yep. Our offense sucks. Just DFA everyone and start from scratch!

      • FIPster Doofus

        Starters’ wOBAs in September…

        Martin – .267
        Teixeira – .285
        Cano – .367
        Nunez – .140; Chavez – .256
        Gardner – .361
        Granderson – .262
        Swisher – .259
        Montero – .393

        The majority of the offense has been awful this month. They need to get their shit together, and A-Rod needs to return.

        • Sarah

          Wow. But you forgot Jeter.

          Regardless, it is clear how ugly the offense has been of late. Hopefully this is because they are saving some in the tank for October.

          • FIPster Doofus

            Thanks. I had a feeling I left someone out. Jeter’s at .311, FWIW.

          • http://www.yankeenumbers.com Mr. Sparkle

            Hopefully…but the offense never woke up for the playoffs last year. It would be nice for them to enter the postseason on SOME kind of roll or with SOME guys hitting. It would also be nice if they could take advantage of four days when it’s a guarantee to knock a number off the magic number in one way or another.

    • pat

      LOl, this mess is a 3.5 game lead in the division?

      • http://www.yankeenumbers.com Mr. Sparkle

        Actually, I’d contend it’s their inability to put away a playoff spot and even the division title. Plus a team that looks to be in no way ready for the playoffs. I don’t think there’s an air of confidence surrounding this team right now. I’m not talking about in the clubhouse…I can’t attest to that. I’m talking about from the fan’s perspective.

  • Tut

    How bad has Gardner been? He was hitting in the high .280’s at one point. He has turned a good season into a mediocre one.

    • FIPster Doofus

      He’s a slightly above-average offensive player with off-the-charts defense and base running skills. I’d take that package every day of the week, especially relative to Gardner’s salary.

      • Sarah

        Concur. I think he’s going to come out of this slump – we’ve seen flashes of it the last couple of weeks. He’s walking more, striking out less, getting some hits here and there. I’ll take a late summer slump if it means he’s hot in October.

  • forensic

    Will this be the first entire series that Montero misses? With the big bad righty on the mound today he was pulled (yeah, that went well, at least Posada didn’t tire himself out by jogging to first in that last AB), another righty tomorrow, and a righty on Sunday that Posada has numbers against.

    The only question is if Alvarez’s reverse split has more impact than his handedness…

    • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

      I would’t count Girardi starting Posada on back to back days. I say either Chavez or Montero DH’s tomorrow assuming A-Rod is back.

      • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

        What about ARod DHing? I’m all for Jesus starting and ARod at 3rd, but you know that’s what Girardi likes to do when players return from injuries.

        • forensic

          For what it’s worth (which isn’t much at this point given his recent declarations), Girardi says A-Rod will be at 3rd when he returns. Theoretically, swinging bothers his hand more than fielding.

          • Brian S.

            3-6 last nine. Not very fun watching this team right now, but it could be worse.

            • http://www.yankeenumbers.com Mr. Sparkle

              Yes…2-7. Thank you Peter Bourjos.

  • LarryM.,Fl.

    Girardi has to abandoned the 6 man rotation. CC has not been the same since its be instituted. Look the reclamation projects of Hughes and AJ were necessary down the road but both of these guys are numbers 5 and 6 in the rotation with Burnett being the odd man out on the playoff roster. Hughes offers more reliable relief possibilities, IMHO.

    We have an ace picture who needs to left alone an pitch every five days. Come on Girardi just do it and make the decision.

  • first time lawng time

    This team sucks in extra innings (or 9th inning or later…you know what I mean).

    So let me get this straight. Arod can’t play, because he hurt his hand?

    That is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard of. Geez, suck it it up and be a man. He swings a bat for a living; it’s not remotely physically exerting.

    • Frank

      “Arod can’t play, because he hurt his hand? it’s not remotely physically exerting”

      One of the dumbest responses I’ve read from someone who obviously never played the game.

    • http://www.yankeenumbers.com Mr. Sparkle

      4-10 in extra innings is pretty bad. Also 20-23 in one run games. 32-12 in “blowout” games. Seems to add up that this team isn’t too good in close games. Hmmm, just the kind of games they’re likely to see in the postseason. I hope they start hitting again…and soon.

  • Countryclub

    CC hasn’t been the same since he came back from the 2nd rain delay in the almost perfect game. I don’t know if the 6 man rotation started at that time or not, but he’s struggled since that game.

  • Tyrion Lannister

    We’re paying $22.5 million for a 1st baseman with an .825 OPS. This guy has been the biggest disappointment of the season. He even got off to a good start this year. Since 09 it’s been a steady decline for Teixera and his defense alone does not make up for a black hole in the #3 spot.

    • Kramerica Industries

      It has not been a steady decline. It’s been friggen precipitous.

      If memory serves, he had a .948 OPS in 2009 (great).

      2010: .846

      2011: .825 (with an awesome .337 OBP – nice to see that part of his game has officially gone to hell)

      It’s pretty hard to argue that he’s justifying that contract right now. For $22.5M, a mid to low .800 OPS is awful.

  • CMP

    If CC doesn’t get back to dominating like he was in the first half of the season, there’s about a 50/50 chance the Yankees don’t make it out of the first round.
    He should have been pitching on regular rest for the last 3 weeks but Girardi and Cashman didn’t have the guts to pull the plug on Burnett.

    • http://www.twitter.com/ngoral Jake LaMotta’s Left Hook

      I’ve learned to accept that the Yankees front office doesn’t always make wise decisions when the right decision is staring them straight in the face.

  • Monteroisdinero

    Don’t think the Yanks are going far in the post-season. Too many issues and CC is non-dominant and not sure he can just turn it on after so many mediocre starts. We have too many all-or-nothing hitters susceptible to changeups and splitters down in the zone. The binder is another factor that will drive us all crazier before this is all said and done. Sarcastic prediction: We’ll coast painfully into the playoffs with the fan base taking the games far more seriously than Girardi and then, voila! we will just all become healthy, dominate at the plate, pitch lights out and every guy plugged in via the binder will get the job done as we sweep every series on our way to #28.

  • Kramerica Industries

    I hate to continue making parallels to last September, but these walk-off hits are making that impossible.

    April-August 2010: 3 walk-off losses
    Nine game road-trip in Sept. 2010 against Texas, TB, and Baltimore – 4 walk-off losses

    April-August 2011: 4 walk-off losses
    Ten game-road-trip in Sept. 2011 against Balt, Anaheim, Seattle, and Toronto – 4 walk-off losses

    The Yankees have been walked-off in every city on this trip. And that doesn’t include the extra innings home loss against the O’s the day before the trip began.

    This team needs to get back to the Bronx in the worst way right now.

    • Sandman42

      Agreed. In fact, I don’t even have confidence in their ability to get a walkoff win at home. Most of the problem is their bullpen is not as deep as Girardi thinks. Sure Wade, Ayala and Logan have low ERAs, but those are probably more inflated from them pitching in blowout wins/losses. Outside of Mo and Robertson, can we trust anyone in the pen to shutdown a team? Certainly not Soriano. The problem for the playoffs is that games tend to wind up like the games the yankees have played in the last few weeks (close or tied in late innings) and the yankees have lost most of these games.

      If they’re going to go with CC, Colon, Nova and Garcia in the rotation (in whatever order), they need to stop this Hughes/AJ nonsense now, make Hughes a reliever and pray that he turns into 2009 Hughes to give them some depth, and send AJ back home.

      If Hughes can you give 1-2 solid shutdown innings, plus Mo and DRob, then they’re in good shape, otherwise I worry it will be a short October.

      • Kramerica Industries

        There’s something to all of that.

        The Yankees have three walk-off wins this year, the last one coming way back in the middle of June.

        They have eight walk-off losses. They have SIX walk-off losses since the last walk-off win.

        For harder data – the Yankees are 4-10 in extras and 20-23 in one run games.

        And this offense has been a God-damned joke the last couple weeks.

        • Sandman42

          I worry that the offense will slip even further into its usual October funk. The numbers are pretty bad across the board the last two years:

          2010- Total Team offense

          ALCS Splits- .201/.300/.370

          ALDS- .314/.351/.514 (ok, obviously good, but they kill the twins and twins are not in playoffs)

          2009- Total Team Offense

          World Series – .247/.326/.399 (probably even worse if you were to take away Matsui’s .615/.643/1.385)

          ALCS- .279/.389/.446 (pretty good, but also heavily carried by Arod’s sick .429/.567/.952)

          ALDS- .225/.288/.431 (worse again without Arod’s .455/.500/1.000)

          • Kramerica Industries

            Those 2009 lines are using skewed analysis. Of course lines look worse without the best source.

            How would those lines look without the worst player in those respective series’?

      • https://twitter.com/TheRealJeromeS Jerome S.

        FWIW, I trust Soriano to be shut-down, but beyond that I’m with you all the way.

  • https://twitter.com/TheRealJeromeS Jerome S.

    Last September the Yankees were 12-15, which was pretty awful.

    This year the Yankee’s are 9-6. The prospect of them matching last year’s dismal September is horrendously idiotic, and while this may not be their best month, I think everyone is overreacting after one loss.

    • Kramerica Industries

      12-15 looks better than how they played, however.

      They started 4-0 last September. After that, they finished 9-17 for the season.

      I’m looking at the road-trip as a whole. And aside from, naturally, a game against Felix fricken Hernandez, the O has looked like shit, the ‘pen has been abused, the SP has been either wasted or looking iffy, and they have been walked-off four times in eight games.

      This team has had one easy win, it seems, all month. Certainly, you can see the annoyance factor in play here.

      • https://twitter.com/TheRealJeromeS Jerome S.

        Honestly, I don’t. They’re 9-6, a winning record. Yes they have been walked off against many times, but a loss is a loss is a loss, in 9 innings or ninety. It’s September, everyone’s tired and Joe’s trying to rest some people. Again, not they’re best month, but seriously, this is overreaction at it’s worst.

        • http://www.yankeenumbers.com Mr. Sparkle

          A loss is not just a loss. It’s how that loss happens that tells a lot. The reason they’re losing a lot of these late close games is that the offense is doing absolutely nothing against the back of these bullpens. Seems like their strategy is to pile on vs. the starter by wearing them down, but once the fresh arms start coming in, the 1-2-3 innings pile up. Not only are they not scoring in late innings lately, they’re not even threatening for the most part. No way should you only be able to manage only one-run in any game in Seattle that Felix Hernandez is not pitching. Last night, 9 up/9 down. What’s going to happen when they face good starting pitching or even good bullpens?

  • Greg

    I blame Pihl Hughes for keeping us in this six man. He had a chance against the A’s and the Red Sox to pitch AJ out of the rotation and he didnt do it.

    Meanwhile AJ has had 2 good starts in his last 3.

    • http://www.yankeenumbers.com Mr. Sparkle

      I blame management for the inability to make a decision. Maybe they should care less about hurting feelings and counting beans and more about winning ballgames.

  • CBean

    please bring the runs in.

  • virginia yankee

    Are we not at the POINT where we can excorcerate GIRARDI as FOOL in th manager’s role – i promised i was going to count BLOWN GAMES at the beginning of the year but i have lost count. Tomorrow and the next day may not need Robertson rivera et al. This silliness of 1 inning Jobs is nuts – robertson was warm not stuggling and worthy of another ining so too or Soriano and maybe in the 10th or 11th Mo or Mo in the 9th — Tie games – other critical/high leverage situations need your best — This is NUTS Pitchers might wellk be stronger and better going 2 or 3 innings with several days off than 1 every day or every other day – you could you know MANAGE based on stress pulling a guy if the pitch count was high but letting him go if reasonable / low

    And no matter what Ayala and the rest have done – this is the time to get a taste of the youngsters – I wouldn’t yell so much if they gave up a run on a learning effort — WE MIGHT LEARN they are unhittable for an inning